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O O O O O

Europe Trip 2009 - 2010

This page is under construction, and more pictures are coming!  As usual, clicking on the image brings you to gallery page with complete and detailed information about the image (EXIF data).

OK, not entirely Eurotrip, I visited Dubai airport as well for transit.

hall in dubai
Dubai Airport Mall

Italy - Rome

As I had taught, pizzeria is everywhere, in every corner of the city.  Just like Warung Soto in Indonesia, they just everywhere.  Me - pizzaholic - in pizza land, the birth place of pizza.  In addition to sheer amount of pizzerias, there even more pickpockets in Italy.  My tour guide said that pickpockets learn to pickpocket at the age as young as 5 years old!  When your kids learn to read and write in kindergarten pickpocket's child learn to commit a crime. I guess that's a very young age for learn a crime, and that is also the reason that Italy dominates top 10 places to get pickpocketed.  

Italian songs are very good to hear, although I don't know their meaning, I feel its good!    Italian power grid sucks, as blackout often happens, moreover their water plumbing also suck.  Sometime they just get really dirty.  In the city wall, there are a lot of writings and graffiti on the wall, just like in Indonesia. I guess its not a good first impression.  

roman aile
Roman Aile

amateurs
Amateurs

However Italy's Cathedrals are really nice! Built to the highest artistic standard and very beautiful.  There are so many of them, and all of them are beautiful.

triangular

the foyer
The Foyer (Digitally Enhanced)

St Peter's Wall
St Peter's Wall

St Peter's Yard
St Peter's Fountain

St Peter's Basilica is a very expensive building.  Normalised in today's US dollar (inflation), the building costs a whooping 6 billion dollar, contrast this to Burj Khalifa (Burj Dubai) the tallest building in the world as per 2010, which merely costs 1.5 billion dollar.

It appears that people from medieval ages are rich...

Colosseum
Colosseum

Pisa Cathedral
Pisa Cathedral Interior

Venice - Venezia

gondolier
Gondolier

journey on a gondola
Journey on a Gondola

maestro
Maestro

San Marco
San Marco
(Saint Mark's Basilica)

Fill flash could had improved that picture, however I don't have any flash strong enough and wide enough to cover the whole gondola.  What a pity...

in a honeymoon
In a Honeymoon

This picture almost looks like HDR, however no HDR capture can produce this kind of image, as it is a people picture.  The key to produce this kind of image (people behind strong light source) is easy: use fill flash!  My fill flash was automatic too!

gondolas

Gondola Yard

Switzerland - Luzern

Compared to Italy, Swiss is a very different country. Clean, neat and people looks less stressful.  Good chocolate and cheese are just the beginning. I love Swiss food and the hotel's chef cooks a very nice vegetarian dish for me.   I have no problem in finding good vegetarian food here in Europe.

luzern aile 

Chappel Bridge

entrance to chappel bridge 

Those two chapel bridge picture might stun the innocent, however they are very easy to made!  Trust me!

Chappel Commuter 

Note how the colour blue and yellow blends.  Plus the shadow from the commuter really bring this image alive!  Sorry for some unsharp area, that's due I open the lens at maximum aperture and hold it handheld for the exposure!

Engelberk

This is where the climb to Mt Titlis starts.  This is where I'm about to conquer the highest mountain in Switzerland.

Snowy Valley

This picture was taken at 10.000 feet (3000m) above sea level, on Mt Titlis.  Although it was high and really cold, I conquer Mt Titlis with relative ease, thanks to the cable car (Titlis Rotair).   

urner alps

The six bladed diaphragm gave the sun majestic appearance.  To get this effect, you can use small aperture such as f/11 or smaller.  It was very bright back then, and the white snowy urner alps reflects the sunshine making a nice and contrasty image possible without HDR or filter.  The snow here acts as giant reflecting screen.

sun @ 10000 feet

The EOS 400D was rated only to work below 0oC, however it worked so well outside its specification at -14oC.  Some other cameras however could not work at that cold, including my uncle's Panasonic which freezes and stops taking pictures.

The ultra wide angle, EF-S 10-22mm lens also performs very well in such a cold environment.  The EF-S 10-22 focuses instantly and accurately as if it was used in normal whether.  This lens is adequate for most shooting and produces excellent images!  I also get used to this lens and the more I use the ultrawide, the more I used to, and the more I love it. 

Germany - Titise

I love the vegetarian steak in Germany. Different to Taiwan's vegetarian steak (fake meat from gluten), Germany's vegetarian steak patty is made from diced carrot, peas, in compound of mashes potato shaped real meat steak.  Then the patty is fried golden brown and served with a hint of lemon.   Very delicious (ok: the meat eater in front of me said that her real meat steak tastes much better, but I don't care) and is a must try for a vegetarian.

freedom

Cologne - Germany

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral

Back from Europe, I realised that Europe is home to world's most beautiful cathedrals.  However I still couldn't understand why European loves to put crypt below or inside a cathedral.

That's it, after Germany, most of the picture I took is people picture with little or no scenery.  For example, Eiffel tower with girl and more.  Well the girls did not allow me to share her picture here on this site, however you can always find the pictures in Facebook anyway.

French - Paris

This picture was taken in a bad weather: fog.  First, the snow just falls and fog is just everywhere.  On winning light and good weather, this shot would be a winner however, you know, I have no power over fog.  The reason why fog kills an image because fog kills contrast and resulting in an ugly and flat image.  Therefore I heavily enhance this image to make it as good as possible, the enhancement are as follows: contrast is improved then colour is the next step.  I made this image oversaturated.  Then finally I apply sharpening (sorry to much sharpening on the sky).  Here I present you the old and new downtown of Paris, taken from Eiffel tower.

old and new downtown
The old and new downtown of Paris

Eiffel from Lift
Eiffel from Lift

This picture is my experiment to create a frame using tree trunks.  I don't think it is really nice, anyway I share it.

corner of Paris
a corner of Paris

crowds
Crowds

London - UK

It was taken in a train station in London.  But no, it is not the one from the movie Harry Potter.  This train station was featured in Mr Bean Holiday, I believe.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  This train station is one of an ultramodern train station.  The Eurostar high speed train embarks from here to Paris.

last passengers
Last Passengers

More are coming!

Tip in following a tour

One advice from me before you bought something from a shop that your trusty tour guides showed you.  First, just look at their price and write them down.  Second, get out of that shop and walk to the other shop selling the same stuff few metres from there and compare the price.  Then feel free to make your own conclusion which believe you'll come to a same conclusion with me.  It is unethical I believe, to share my conclusion. But you'll see it by yourself.

Conclusion

The only thing I regret in Europe is the food.  The tour just give us too many Chinese foods.  Although seeing fellow Chinese is good as I can communicate with them easily, eating Chinese food in Europe a big no-no.  I can find Chinese food here in Indonesia, and I ate them everyday.  In Europe I need to eat more European food, I wanted to experience their finest dishes and tastes their authentic taste, then I'll have more experience.  So what's the point of eating Chinese food in Europe?

However the interesting thing about language in Europe is Chinese is more useful than English.  I still could not understand why European people doesn't really like to speak English.  However there are so many Chinese immigrant workers in Europe, that I can live in Europe by only knowing Chinese.  I can order good vegetarian food, made hotel reservation and more!

Moreover I also find that although historically European architecture are good, their cathedral is excellent and the remains are great, Asian architecture are not inferior.  Our building were as majestic as theirs, and our monuments are as great and some even grander.  Asians should also proud of their ancestors, as the European are.  In fact, all of majestic and classic European cathedral and palaces were built by Chinese immigrant workers (did you get the joke here?).

How about arts?  They are different to building.  Building can be measured how big it is, how tall it is, how long does it take to built, can it be seen from the outer space, and more, however arts are relative, as artistic value are relative thus renders comparing arts across different culture futile.

Modern cities however, Asia already overtook Europe.  There are more skyscrapers in Asia than in Europe for example, however our infrastructure are behind them.  You know, Asian loves to show offs. 

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